US Stamps

Strange places the U.S. Christmas seal has been spotted

May 2, 2021, 6 PM

By John M. Hotchner

You can find United States Christmas seal images in unusual places. One of the strangest in my experience recently came to me from Christmas seal specialist dealer Denny Peoples.

Titled “The Community Nurse,” the card was produced by the Illinois Red Cross. It features a badly misregistered image of the 1914 Christmas seal.

The scene on the picture side of the card shows a mother and a group of 13 children. The text at the bottom of the card reads, “Buy Red Cross Seals and give to every County in Illinois a Community Nurse.”

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A rhyme is inscribed on the reverse of the card:

“Hippity Hop to the Christmas Shop.

To buy some Red Cross Seals,

With one on each letter,

Of course you feel better,

You’ve heeded your brother’s appeals.”

Another 1914 promotion is shown nearby. This ad cover was canceled Nov. 25, 1914, in Austin, Texas. It features a request, “Finance Public Health Work in Texas.” The ad continues, “One cent each/Use on the back of all mail.”

A 1914 seal is attached to the reverse, so this might qualify as a new earliest-known use (EKU) if the seal were tied to the cover with a cancel— but it isn’t. Seals must be tied to qualify for EKU status.